Intuition (Part 3 of 5 parts)


Where does the muse reside? Various explanations have been suggested.

Clinical psychic intuition

It is possible to know information without inputs through our five ordinary senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. We call these psychic impressions. They provide another level for intuitive awareness.

Researchers have dissected psychic abilities into theoretical components.

Telepathy: The transfer of thoughts, images or commands from one living being to another, without use of sensory cues.

Clairsentience: Knowledge about an animate or inanimate object, without the use of sensory cues (sometimes called psychometry). This may appear in the mind of the perceiver as visual imagery (clairvoyance), auditory messages (clairandience), or other internal sensory awareness, such as taste, smell, or a mirroring of bodily sensations from another person.

Precognition: Knowledge of a future event prior to its occurrence.

Retrocognition: Knowledge of a past event, without use of sensory cues.

The above four modes of acquiring knowledge without cues from any of the external senses: have been called Extrasensory perception (ESP).

ESP is often reported by people who also have abilities to move or transform an object without use of physical means; commonly called “mind over matter,” which is technically labeled psychokinesis (PK)..

ESP and PK are referred to as the psychic, or psi (from the Greek letter, Y) abilities.

Research on psychic intuition
Surveys of experiences of psychic experiences were conducted by Louisa Rhine at Duke University starting in the early 1940’s. People commonly reported they knew information without sensory inputs. For example, they claimed they had premonitions of dangers before these materialized, would know when someone in the family was in need of help, and were able to project their thoughts to others.

Spontaneous ESP occurs frequently during dreams, during times of distress, and in response to needs. It also occurs with no apparent pattern and for no apparent reason.

J. W. Dunne published a classic series of precognitive dreams. For instance, he foresaw the eruption of the volcano on the Caribbean island of Martinique in 1902, in which 40,000 people were killed. Clearly this is an event that could impact the collective consciousness of the planet, and would be more “available” for psychic perception than lesser events. However, Dunne also records a dream in which he is standing on a bridge, looking at a particular scene. About 25 years later, he found himself on that very bridge, surveying that particular scene. He could find no special significance to this precognitive experience, which seemed simply to have been a window across time.

Skeptics suggested that such individual reports could simply be coincidences, so the hypothesis of psychic perception was put to the test.

Joseph B. Rhine, at Duke University, ran hundreds of thousands of tests on psi abilities. His basic tool for ESP testing was the deck of Zener cards, containing twenty-five cards, five of each of five different symbols: a star, a circle, a square, a cross, and three wavy lines. (See Figure 1.) The deck of 25 cards was thoroughly shuffled, sometimes with a mechanical shuffler, prior to each test of ESP perception.


Figure 1. The images of the Zehner deck, used in tests of ESP.


In the telepathy mode of testing, an experimenter would look at one card at a time, while the subject wrote down which symbol s/he intuited was on the card (out of the line of sight of the experimental subject).

In the clairvoyant mode, the deck was shuffled and the subject would psychically “read” or intuit which symbol was on one card at a time. After each “guess” was recorded, the experimenter turned over the card and recorded the symbol, proceeding in this fashion through the entire deck. Alternatively, the subject wrote down the entire series of guesses prior to the experimenter’s recording the order of appearance of each symbol.

In the precognitive mode, the subject wrote down the entire series of 25 guesses prior to the shuffling of the deck. After the deck was shuffled, the experimenter recorded the order of appearance of each symbol.

Under each of these conditions, small but significantly greater than chance numbers of correct guesses were recorded for many subjects. A few gifted subjects were able to achieve rates of success that were considerably above chance.
To save time, experimenters presented series of tests to groups of subjects. This proved a failure, as the average results were not above chance expectations, although some individuals within the groups did achieve significant results. Experimenters were puzzled, but attributed the chance results to distraction or other factors related to testing in a group setting.

A wise parapsychologist, Gertrude Schmeidler, suggested that the random results from group testing should be re-evaluated, assessing separately the results of believers in ESP and of skeptics. When this was done, it was found that the results of the believers were significantly above chance. To everyone’s surprise, the results of the skeptics were equally significant, below chance. Schmeidler dubbed this The sheep -goat effect, sheep being the believers and goats the disbelievers. (Matthew 25:31-33 appears to have been the source for these terms.) Each group was apparently perceiving psychically, but the sheep used their intuition to make correct guesses and the goats used theirs to make incorrect guesses.

Remote viewing research

Carefully organized studies have shown that people can perceive what is happening at a remote location (Jahn and Dunne 1987). This has been replicated with shielding to eliminate electromagnetic signals (Targ and Puthoff 1974). In a typical remote viewing protocol, researchers randomly select a remote viewing site from a pool of potential sites that have been identified earlier. One experimenter is given an envelope with directions to the site, which is within an hour’s driving radius from the laboratory. The outward bound experimenter opens the envelope with the directions after leaving the lab, so that no clues can be given to those remaining in the lab regarding the chosen site. A subject in the lab reports to an experimenter in the laboratory what s/he observes at the distant location. On arrival at that location, the outward bound experimenter photographs and records whatever s/he observes. After a series of remote perceptions and on-site observations have been collected, independent judges are given pictures and intuitives’ descriptions of the remote site and are asked to match them. Judges are blind to the actual matches. Highly significant successes in matchings were registered by the judges in many replications of these studies.

Remote viewing studies provide clear confirmation of intuitive abilities.

This article appeared as the editorial in The International Journal of Healing and Caring – On line May, 2002, Volume 2, No. 2

(Continued in next column)

Avatar Written by Daniel J. Benor MD

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